Use of GWACs seen slowing

Agencies appear to be growing more interested in maintaining their own multiple-award contracts rather than using governmentwide acquisition contracts, said Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at FedSources.

Speaking at his organization's annual Federal Outlook Conference today, Bjorklund said revenues generated through GWACs declined at a compound annual rate of 15 percent from fiscal 2005 to fiscal 2007.

Those numbers include only contract actions relevant to information technology and related services. In dollars, GWACs generated $4.5 billion in fiscal 2005 and only $3.2 billion in fiscal 2007.

Agency-run multiple-award contracts increased in revenue in the same period, according to the firm's research. Civilian agency contracts rose from $1 billion in 2005 to $1.3 billion in 2007, a 12 percent compound annual growth rate. Defense Department contracts rose from $8 billion in 2005 to $11.5 billion in 2007, a 20 percent growth rate.

"For quite a while, [GWACs] were very popular, but now they're fizzling," Bjorklund said.

Agencies have learned that using GWACs doesn't spare them the cost or effort of management, he said. Once that becomes clear, agencies lose one of the key incentives for choosing a GWAC, he added.

"There are other ways of getting the job done," he said.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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